UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Despite short practice, Baumgardner dominates Pro Division

Despite short practice, Baumgardner dominates Pro Division
Despite limited practice time, Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner found his way into the lead with 19-13.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - He could have gone home to Gastonia, N.C., after an FLW Tour event a week earlier in Detroit, but Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner is glad he extended his road trip - otherwise he wouldn't be leading the Stren Series Northern Division event on Lake Champlain.

"Man, I love this place," Baumgardner said of Champlain's appeal. "I couldn't help myself - I had to come over from (the Detroit event)."

The tight schedule left Baumgardner with time for only one practice day, but he relied mostly on past experience to find a productive area in the lake's north end. There, he found a limit catch weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces.

The top pro targeted laydown trees and logs in 3-5 feet with a Zoom Brush Hog and a chatterbait. "Most of my fish came on the chatterbait but when it was too thick for me to get the chatterbait in there I was throwing the Brush Hog.

Persistence proved essential to Baumgardner's top finish. "I caught a good one first thing this morning, Running south to the Ticonderoga area paid off for second-place pro John Voyles.but then I went for a long time only catching small ones. I just stuck with it and I got a good bite here and there.

"About midmorning, I had a little flurry when I caught most of my weight. I had what I (needed) by 11:30 and I was out of there by 1 o'clock."

In retrospect, Baumgardner said he departed sooner than he needed to make the 25-mile run to the weigh-ins, but with afternoon winds stirring the lake, he didn't want to take any chances. "That wind was scaring me. I had a bag like this a couple of years ago and I didn't make it in because of the wind. So, I probably left a little early."

For fourth-place pro Jason Ober, day one produced more quality than quantity.Of his day's work, Baumgardner said: "I expected to get 16-20 pounds. From what I saw during practice, I thought I could get that."

Doing his sponsor proud, Baumgardner also won the Snickers Big Bass award for his 5-pound, 1-ounce largemouth.

Voyles' adjustments secure second

In second place, John Voyles of Petersburg, Ind., ran south to Ticonderoga, fished several spots with grassy bottom and caught a limit weighing 18-6. Fishing soft plastics with slow presentations through the grass, he caught most of his fish in 6-8 feet.

Voyles caught 10 fish and found the action to be inconsistent: "It's very hit or miss. You'll go for miles and miles and not get bit, but then pull into one little area and catch them on every cast."

Moreover, the fish seemed to require a more relaxed pace than Voyles employed during practice. "Four or five days ago, you could go into (my areas), fish fast and catch fish. Today, it seemed like a slower presentation was best."

Christian Romans of Carrollton, Ky., trails Voyles by 4 ounces with 18-2. Jason Ober of Johnstown, Punching through clean patches of weeds in shallow water led Jamie Worth to a fifth-place finish in the pro division.Pa., placed fourth with 17-15, while Jamie Worth of Erie, Pa., sits in fifth with 17-9.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the Stren Series Lake Champlain event:

6th: Pete Gluszek of Franklinville, N.J., 17-6
7th: Terry Baksay of Easton, Conn., 16-14
8th: John Howell Jr. of Middleton, N.Y., 16-14
9th: Scott Lakey of Augusta, Mich., 16-5
10th: Charles Sim of Ottawa, Ontario, 16-1

Top co-angler Girouard cans green bass for hefty browns

Top co-angler Chris Girouard culled a limit of largemouth early, but found his best weight in smallmouth during a late morning bite.Epsom, N.H., co-angler Chris Girouard fished grassy pockets in Champlain's north end and topped his division with 18 pounds, 2 ounces. He fished a green pumpkin tube on a 1/2-ounce jighead.

Girouard said that patient presentation was the key to his success. He had a limit of largemouth by 11 o'clock, but culled all of them when he started catching big smallies shortly thereafter.

Thomas Shafer of Pine City, N.Y., placed second with 16-4, while David Ottman of Oswego, N.Y., took Tom Rizzo used a Texas-rigged Yum Wooly Bug to tempt the heaviest bass on the co-angler side, a 5-pound largemouth.third with 16-2. James Liao of Ithaca, N.Y., sits in fourth with 14-9 and Anthony Scrivens of Sunderland, Md., is fifth at 14-3.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Stren Series Lake Champlain event:

6th: Marc Wagy of Dewitt, Va., 14-3
7th: Jeff Zeisner of Arva, Ontario, 14-0
8th: Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md. 13-15
9th: Dustin Edwards of Ellington, Conn., 13-14
10th: Edward Knight of Magnolia, Del., 13-4

Thomas Rizzo of Rochester, Pa., caught the biggest on the co-angler side, a 5-0.

Day two of Stren Series action on Lake Champlain continues at Thursday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (EST) at Dock Street Landing, located at 5 Dock Street, Plattsburgh N.Y.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-07-16-lake-champlain 

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